Master's Programme in Humanitarian Action and Conflict

Academic year 2021/2022

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The Master's Programme in Humanitarian Action and Conflict is for you who are interested in humanitarian work both in Europe and the world at large. What is humanitarian action? In what ways are humanitarian emergencies intensified and changed by conflict? What factors define a humanitarian disaster? What laws and moral principles steer humanitarian interventions? If you would like to explore such questions, this one-year programme is a good choice for you.

Why this programme?

The Master's Programme in Humanitarian Action and Conflict seeks to give you the competences and skills necessary to work within different areas of the humanitarian field, and you will get both data and methodology relating to conflict situations and peacebuilding activities. The programme aims to help graduates take on different professional roles such as project manager, conflict analyst or desk officer in non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and governmental organisations.

During the programme you can expect to:

  • be able to make an independent analysis of problems in the field of humanitarian action and conflict;
  • understand specific perspectives on humanitarian phenomena, including anthropological, geopolitical, legal, public health, managerial and ethical perspectives;
  • be able to communicate advanced knowledge concerning humanitarian action to a non-academic target group in both oral and written form.
Student profile
Our students want to work in the field of humanitarian action. They come from all over the world and from a wide range of backgrounds - for example Anthropology, Business Management, Development Studies, Human Rights, International Relations, Languages, Law, Medicine, Peace and Conflict Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology and Theology.

Related programmes


The programme leads to a Master of Arts in Theology (60 credits) with International Humanitarian Action as the main field of study.


This is a one-year Master's programme and the first semester is used to give you a solid foundation in humanitarian action.

During the second semester you learn more about conflicts and how they relate to humanitarian action. You will also write your Master's thesis at that time. See the wide range of topics of theses conducted by our previous students.

Courses within the programme

Semester 1
Introduction to Humanitarian Action, 5 credits
Anthropology and Intercultural Aspects of Humanitarian Action, 5 credits
Legal Dimensions of Humanitarian Action, 5 credits
World Politics and Humanitarian Action, 5 credits
Public Health in Humanitarian Action, 5 credits
Management, 5 credits

Semester 2
Conflict and Peacebuilding, 15 credits
Master's Thesis, 15 credits

Learning experience

This is a campus-based, full-time programme, which means you are expected to spend around 40 hours per week on your studies. It is not possible to study this programme part-time or as distance learning.

Swedish academic culture is fairly informal. This means that university lecturers are considered as more like partners in students' educational and learning processes. Less time is dedicated to traditional classroom lectures and more to personal reading and individual and group tasks. The aim is to give students a balanced workload between taking part in lectures, reading the assigned course materials, critical consideration of the readings, and group discussions, all of which are important parts of the advanced learning experience. Active participation in class discussions and student interaction outside the classroom are encouraged, giving therefore a substantial amount of responsibility to students in their preparations for their future lives as professionals.

The core courses in the first semester are studied and examined one at a time. In the second semester, you make initial preparations for the thesis before taking the course in Conflict and Peacebuilding; the second half of that semester is devoted to writing your thesis. In order to be registered for second-semester courses, you must have earned at least 15 credits in the first semester.

You will write your Master's thesis with guidance from a supervisor and present it at a defence seminar.

The language of instruction is English.


A Master's degree from this programme could lead to a variety of positions such as project leader, conflict analyst or country manager, in both governmental and non-governmental organisations.

Meet our alumna Rozan Khalifeh who went on to work for RedR in the UK.

Career support
During your whole time as a student UU Careers offers you support and guidance. You have the opportunity to partake in a variety of career activities and events, as well as receive individual career counselling. This service is free of charge for all students at Uppsala University. Learn more about UU Careers.


Below you will find the details about eligibility requirements, selection criteria, and tuition fee. For information on how to apply and what documents you need to submit, check the application guide. For this programme, besides the general supporting documents, you also need to submit one programme-specific document: an Application Summary Sheet (click to download the form). Write your statement of purpose in the Application Summary Sheet.

Master's Programme in Humanitarian Action and Conflict

60 credits

Autumn 2021, 100%, Campus

Location: Uppsala

Application deadline: 15 January 2021

Application code: UU-M5510 Application

Language of instruction: English

Academic requirements
A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university.

Language requirements
All applicants need to verify English language proficiency that corresponds to English studies at upper secondary (high school) level in Sweden ("English 6"). This can be done in a number of ways, including through an internationally recognised test such as TOEFL or IELTS, or through previous upper secondary (high school) or university studies.
The minimum test scores are:

  • IELTS: an overall mark of 6.5 and no section below 5.5
  • TOEFL: Paper-based: Score of 4.5 (scale 1–6) in written test and a total score of 575. Internet-based: Score of 20 (scale 0–30) in written test and a total score of 90
  • Cambridge: CAE, CPE
More information about English language requirements

Selection: Students are selected based on:

  • a total appraisal of quantity and quality of previous university studies; and
  • a statement of purpose describing why you want to study the programme at Uppsala University.
Tuition fee-paying students and non-paying students are admitted on the same grounds but in different selection groups.


If you are not a citizen of a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) country, or Switzerland, you are required to pay application and tuition fees. Fees cover application and tuition only and do not cover accommodation, academic literature or the general cost of living. Read more about fees.

Application fee: SEK 900

Tuition fee, first semester: SEK 50,000

Tuition fee, total: SEK 100,000

Contact and further resources

Is this programme right for you?

Faculty and research
Breadth, depth and diversity are three concepts which illustrate well the research undertaken at the faculty. The Faculty of Theology is a leading centre for the study of different world religions and plays host to the Centre for Multidisciplinary Studies on Racism and the Uppsala Religion and Society Research Centre. The faculty carries out research on, amongst other issues, immigration, racism, the meeting between science and religion, ritual and mental health, theological and philosophical aspects of animal rights ethics and religion and welfare. These examples also show the relevance of research to society at large and its importance for a deeper understanding of historical and contemporary occurrences and phenomena.


For programme-specific information, please mail:

For admissions-related or general information, please contact our applicant support team:

Department of Theology

Thunbergsvägen 3 B, Uppsala

P.O. Box 511, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

+46 18 471 22 95

Programme start and registration

Registration for courses on this programme will be carried out by the Department of Theology. Students who have been admitted should confirm that they wish to be registered by 15 August at the latest by sending a mail to

Students with conditional admission
If you have been conditionally admitted, please send proof to as soon as possible and in any case by no later than 30 August that you meet the qualification requirements in order to be registered.

Candidates on the waiting list
The department will contact candidates on the waiting list by e-mail if a place becomes available. They will then have one day to accept.